The two men are not physically dead but like those whoare, these two Englishmen currently do not have a pulse.
Whilst the physically dead do not have a physical pulse either, in the Bible God speaks of people who are dead ‘in their sins’ - dead to God. Everyone must seek for themselves Him who has graciously provided a way of avoiding an endless fate far worse than death.
Jesus died for sins once for all…to bring you to God. (1 Peter chapter 3 verse 18). You have made known to me the path of life. (Psalm 16 verse 11). As every believer has been justified through faith, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ. (Romans chapter 5 verse 1).
Sir David Attenborough has probably seen more evidence of creation than anyone yet ignores the evidence. Quoting Old Testament prophet Isaiah who in turn was quoting the LORD, Jesus says:
This people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears and have closed their eyes. Otherwise, they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them. (Matthew chapter 13 verse 15).
Like Sir David, Emeritus Professor and author Richard Dawkins suppresses the truth by their wickedness [writing anti-faith books] since what may be known about God is plain to them because God has made it plain to them…so they are without excuse. (Romans chapter 1 verses 18-20).
As shocking as it may sound, both are spiritual corpses.
What is death?
The ancient Hebrews thought of the deceased as going to ‘Sheol’, the abode of the dead, a netherworld where the dead experienced a shadowy existence.
Belief in the afterlife is not a recent/modern-day phenomenon, conviction or persuasion (the Egyptians believed it also), and disbelief in same (including scoffing unbelief) does not disprove it.
Mankind was intended to live forever both physically and spiritually. However because of human disobedience in defiance of God’s warning by deliberately eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, death entered in.
From the very day that Adam ate the forbidden fruit, although he did not at that moment die physically but lived for many years thereafter, he immediately died spiritually and accordingly was separated from intimate fellowship with God. Thus it has been ever since, with each of us caught up in this quagmire if we have not turned to Him….in quicksand until Jesus came.
But what about before Jesus?
Does that mean all Old Testament-dwellers who lived before Jesus were forever doomed?
Just as sin entered the world through one man [Adam] and death through sin, death came to all men because all sinned: [hands up if you have never sinned: you’re kidding…right?], and even though before the law was given sin was in the world, sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned. (Romans chapter 5 verses 12-14).
Doesn’t that leave us in a state of confusion and doubt about entry into heaven, and about the justice and mercy of God? How can He leave us in such a state?
BUT: it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight but those who obey the law…for they do by nature things required by the law…they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts. (Romans chapter 2 verses 13-15).
Regarding “God’s sight” we know that He does not look at the outward appearance of a man but looks: at the heart. (1 Samuel chapter 16 verse 7).
So those of us who neither recognise nor acknowledge the presence and authority of Jesus, nor understand what He endured and then rose spectacularly and triumphantly for us, although alive physically are dead spiritually.
If they persist in their disinterested unbelief they will forever remain in a state of spiritual death - eternal separation from God - which the Bible describes as the “second death”.
One or two births: two or one death
In summary therefore, regarding every human being if there is only one birth (physical) there will be two deaths (spiritual and physical) but if there are two births (physical and spiritual) there will only be one death (physical).
So what about that other Englishman who is dead physically but is vibrantly alive?
The third Englishman
The late John Stott wrote a great little paperback book called ‘Basic Christianity’. When I read it about forty five years ago (chapter 4 as I recall) I found myself saying something like: ‘Of course…now I see’. Months of lively debate with the local clergyman instantly tumbled into place. I understood the truth. An epiphany!
The Bible calls this being “born again”. Jesus says: no-one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of the Spirit. God sent His Son into the world: to save the world [spiritually not militarily] through Him, to heaven. (John chapter 3 verses 5 & 17).
And what does Jesus say? The truth will set you free…If the Son sets you free you will be free indeed. (John chapter 8 verses 32 & 36).
AND SO IT’S NEVER TOO LATE UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE. Whilesoever there’s life there’s hope even if the person involved is comatose or intellectually impaired. No-one is ever beyond the reach of the Almighty. Anyone who is among the living has hope - even a live dog is better off than a dead lion. (Ecclesiastes chapter 9 verse 4).
SO…OVER TO YOU
Gavin Lawrie is a retired Barrister and Solicitor from Tweed Heads NSW Australia and author of the book: 'THE EVIDENCE OF EVOLUTION: Uncovering The Faulty Science Of Dawkins' Attack On Creationism'. He is married to Jan with two adult children and they are grandparents.
Gavin Lawrie's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/gavin-lawrie.html